Saturday, September 30, 2006

How about a kiss?

This is what us scientists call "antigen sampling."

Update on the tonail and the butt zit

My toenail was healing, then I snagged it on something and am now back to square 1. I am going to try wrapping it up and heading out for a run tomorrow, we'll see how that works. Meanwhile my butt zit healed but another one popped up - this one actually looking more like a bug bite than a zit. Since we haven't yet seen any bugs here in Seattle, we are thinking it may be a spider bite and now my Studly Hubby (who has several such mystery bites himself, one on his back and one on his arm) is on a quest to search out and destroy all the spiders in our apartment.

Alligator Anyone?

Ready for something gross? This is a picture of a mighty python who literally busted a gut trying to eat an adult alligator. The python also managed to get its head cut off somehow (upper left). According to National Geographic, who posted a little article about this event (and made a show about it on the National Geographic Channel), the python either simply couldn't handle its enormous dinner, or got into a fight with another alligator - a friend who was coming to the rescue - hence the python's missing head.

I guess this isn't the first time a python has had trouble taking down its whole meal. Speedy KT, who turned me on to this whole python situation, discovered another National Geographic story about a python that ate a pregnant sheep and was so bloated from the meal that it couldn't move. It eventually puked the whole thing back up (bummer). National Geographic also cited an incident of a pet python eating an entire queen sized electric blanket.

Those pythons clearly haven't gotten the concept of "portion control."

Thursday, September 28, 2006

My BIG TOE...!

While I was walking around innocently today, I stopped suddenly and somehow stubbed my toe on my other foot, ripping a corner of my toenail off. I moaned about it to my husband, who told my toe that he loved it very much but then said that while he was in soccer he was lucky if he even had toenails. I guess in comparison my injury is really not that severe. It hurts more to look at than it actually hurts. But still, it's my TOENAIL...!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A beer and some allergies

The Studly Hubby had to stay home from work the past few days due to a bad case of the allergies - or a mild case of something worse - so he had to miss a work outing tonight which involved beer. The Studly Hubby isn't as big of a fan of beer as I am so I'm not sure that he minded but I certainly had a good time and even managed to get a ride home from a co-worker.

I am a big believer in speeding up the getting-to-know-you process with beer. Unfortunately, it would be weird to pull out a case during lunch and pass it around (although it has been done, and the popularity of this lunch-beer business seems to be correlated directly with the number of Wisconsinites you are having lunch with). So, you have to wait for some sort of beer-related opportunity to come up, and then be sure to have some. So that's what I did. And it worked out well, I think I finally broke down some barriers and even learned a few new names.

Monday, September 25, 2006

My boss' chihuahua

We went to my NEW boss' house on Sun night for a little party and met my boss' new dog - a 5 lb Chihuahua! The dog is very cute, but what was even cuter was my boss, a world-reknowned scientist, wandering through the party with the chihuahua parked on his shoulder. Then he told us a funny story: he never wanted the chihuahua, and his daughter and wife sort of bought him without permission. The boss then proceeded to totally fall in love with the chihuahua (he's scratching the dog's stomach as he's telling this story) and now it appears the boss and the dog have a very tight relationship.

I'm working the Studly Hubby for a dog to join our family. The chihuahua scene helped my case - usually any cute dog will win my Studly Hubby's heart pretty fast and this one was no exception. I'm not sure if we're chihuahua people, but really, a chihuahua dog is better than no dog at all. I'll keep working him and let you know how it turns out.

The Socialization of J-Funk

I actually went to church on Sunday!! I was going to go on another hike with my Studly Hubby, but he backed out due to a pressing assignment (mixed with a bad case of allergies), so I thought, hey, I should go interact with some people, and I set off down the road to a church that looked nice. It turned out, this church only has about 15 members but they claimed they are a well-known church nonetheless ("small but with loud voices"). I think they are pretty well-known; I was interested in them because of some info on the internet that I found telling of their association with peace groups (they loan out their church facilities for a well-attended political movie night and discussion on Friday nights, the movies are mostly anti-war movies), their affiliation with helping the homeless (the pastor used to be the chaplain of a homeless shelter and the church is also very involved in that), and their openness to all types of people.

I am not exactly well-known for being the church-going type, but let me tell you, when you move to a new place far far away from your family and friends and start a new job where you don't know anyone, it starts sounding like a pretty good deal to become part of a welcoming church community. It was even more tempting that this particular church is just down the street (no driving involved!), and it turns out they were very welcoming indeed. In Minneapolis, I tried to go to a church but it was in a desperately difficult to drive to part of town and the people weren't very friendly, so I nixed the whole church idea pretty fast. Here in Seattle, I found a church I can walk to, everybody was nice, and they even have some pretty cool stuff going on the rest of the week. So, I may go back. But don't go telling everyone I'm a church-goer yet - I'm not sure I'm ready for that big of a step.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The visiting neighbor cat

Last night when we were making dinner, we opened the back door for a bit to let the breeze in. Next thing we knew, a neighborhood cat was poking his nose in looking around. We laughed at him, and he pranced on in and headed towards our living room. Thinking I would just pick him up and carry him outside, I ran after him but then he scampered off - into the bedroom! I went into the bedroom after him and he cut back around and scampered back into the kitchen, where my Studly Hubby blocked him from heading towards the second bedroom. I opened the door wider and we strategically positioned ourselves so that he would be directed back out the door, where he eventually went. What a cat! He lets himself in, explores the place brazenly, and smartly avoids his own capture. My Studly Hubby claims this is the reason we shouldn't leave our outside-facing doors open. That, and I saw a dead rat on the sidewalk the other day (a HUGE one). We really wouldn't want one of those wandering in.

The DOG park!

A few weeks ago, we were in "explore Seattle" mode and went to a nearby park that is up along Lake Washington and is supposed to have some nice beachfront - Magnuson Park. The bait that got us there was this: supposedly the band Sound Garden named themselves after an actual Sound Garden that is accessible from this park, which has vertical organ pipes topped with wind vanes up high on poles; these make pretty sounds when the wind blows. Well we went to the park and couldn't find this Sound Garden, or the beach, anywhere. We drove all around, found a nice little kayak and sailboat rental place and a popular-looking dog park, as well as a very large neighborhood garden plot, but no Sound Gardens or beaches. Wondering whether maybe this stuff was on the other side of the dog park, and being dog people anyhow, we let ourselves into the dog park and walked to the end of it. I felt a little like an outsider, being dogless, but nobody seemed to notice. The dogs were all having so much FUN it was a good time to watch. The weiner dogs especially seem to really like the dog park - they are definitely the social butterflies of the dog world. We found at the end of the park, a fenced-in walkway that everyone was heading for with their dogs, so we kept on going for at least a half-mile on this walkway until it finally opened up into a fenced-in beachfront area. Here is the beach! we thought. Actually, it was the dog-beach; we never did find the people beach (although there is a people-beach at a separate park, Matthews Park, up the shore a ways that we found later). Anyways the dogs at the dog park swimming in the lake was probably the most entertaining thing I've seen in a while and we stood and stared for a good fifteen minutes (if we hadn't been in full sun and without sunblock we probably would have stayed longer). We took a picture too!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Boxes and Roses

After getting a suggestion from Peggy to throw all my unpacked boxes away, I rushed home in a panic today after work and unpacked five of our ten boxes. I could never throw that stuff away! It's treasure! All treasure!!

Then I went out and snipped a few roses off the rose bush in front of our house. It's still blooming! And our neighbor told me it's actually best to cut the roses off so it keeps on blooming (she's been watering it for us, what a nice neighbor! she called cutting the dead blooms off "deadheading" and recommended I get them while they're alive and put them in a vase). Anyhow I took a picture of the lovely roses and they are at left. In the picture, are sitting on our kitchen table with the IKEA strawberry print tablecloth in front of the bright yellow painted wall. We were really diggin' our yellow kitchen until a friend told us that couples are statistically more likely to fight in a yellow kitchen. We've only gotten into one fight since we've been here in Seattle and it was in the living room so I'm not sure if I believe her. I don't remember what the fight was about, but I think it was my Studly Hubby's fault. Maybe putting the roses in the kitchen will offset any fights we might have in there in the future.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

10 boxes to go!!

I gotta say, I'm proud of us. We're down to only 10 more boxes to unpack from our big move a few months ago. Unfortunately, we've left the worst for last: the stuff that you have no idea where to put. We are still in a Closet Situation that can't seem to be resolved (although we got both our closet doors shut for the first time this weekend so we're making progress). In addition, my desk, which I no longer have, generated about three boxes full of desk-stuff that has no home anywhere and that I need constantly, like tape, pens, maps, my address book, etc. So these things are kind of all over the apartment now. My woman-nesting-needs are not being met and I may have to spend some serious time this weekend organizing. Except it's going to be sunny out this weekend and everyone at work is brainwashing me to believe I need to drop everything whenever it's sunny and go outside and soak it up (it may have something to do with the dreaded four-months-of-rain coming up that Seattle is so famous for). So we'll see.

Meanwhile back in my old home in Minnesota a war has started between some green plastic army men and an angry post-doc and a good friend is getting tired of writing about herpes. I still miss it like crazy - I realized there's definitely a grieving process that you go through after you leave a good place and a good job and a lot of good friends like that. That was a big part of the trauma. I think I'm getting better now though, and reading people's blogs definitely helps. It also helps to spend a weekend having fun with your Studly Hubby, maybe getting out and soaking up the sun a little...

Expanding my Blog Horizons

I have moved into new blog circles and found a few really good blogs that I thought I'd share with you. Mad Cabbie, a cab driver in DC, takes the cake on good stories and tells them with an edge that is inspiring. I have been good about keeping my blog clean so I have to warn you kiddies out there that it's sometimes a little more foul-tongued than what you might be used to. It's what makes it so good though. Saz secrets is another good blog that is sweet and entertaining all at once. I found both of these through Peggy's Blog, who has a good collection of blog links (recently updated) and an excellent blog herself. I am a longtime fan of Peggy's blog. Something about rainy Scotland and all her good country pictures just keeps reeling me back in looking for more. And I must mention that the Mop, who I met when he found my blog, is keeping up the good work over in Utah and I think his blog might even be getting better.

Maybe someday I'll update my blog list again. For some reason that seems really hard.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Politicians take note...

This is what a sign says that is on one of the highways that takes us from Minneapolis to Iowa City: Politicians Take Note: Hogs Don't Vote!!

Can anyone even begin to guess what this means? We drove past this sign for five years and never came up with anything.


Now that I'm An Adult, I feel this constant weight of pressure on me to "get things done" all the time. It's not just me; I hear this term constantly all around me. Every night, I rush home and try to get stuff done before my brain shuts down and the world blacks out for my ritual 9 hours.

When I was a kid, I never stressed about "getting things done." I wouldn't make lists and run errands all weekend. I actually enjoyed the holidays without having to remind myself to. I would lounge around in a hammock all afternoon and not feel even slightly guilty about it. And I didn't ever have to talk myself into taking time out to visit friends or play outside.

But, I also had a totally trashed out room, never wrote thank-you cards, and didn't have to go to the store or cook food (I was doing dishes and laundry at an early age, but I guess it wasn't enough to stress me out). I think it was my mindset. I didn't feel the weight of responsibility. The scientist in me tells me it's because our brains aren't fully developed yet as young-uns. I think this is true. At some point in my life my brain expanded and I became Responsible.

So now I am always trying to remind myself to do what I was already good at when I was young: enjoy the moment. But stay responsible. Use that extra-brain-part to "get things done" but then shut it off and blog a little.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Oozing eucalyptus

For some reason my finger smelled like eucalyptus on Sunday. Then, my whole hand started smelling like eucalyptus. I washed it off, with soap, and again my finger started smelling like eucalyptus. It eventually spread to my hand a second time, and you could smell it all around me. When we got into the car to go to the grocery store, my Studly Hubby asked, Why does it smell like eucalytpus in here?

I don't know! I said. It's my finger!! and I stuck it under his nose which made him gag.

We never did find the source of the eucalyptus. I think I was simply oozing it from my skin due to some weird alien DNA I picked up in Portland this weekend.

Or, maybe we have a eucalyptus plant in our yard and I accidentally found it. I don't think it grows here though. So I am left with only the alien DNA from Portland theory. But if you come over watch out for a eucalyptus tree or shrub sneaking around in our yard, I've shown a picture of it at left.

One big Butt Zit

I was sitting on the couch minding my own business watching tv when all of a sudden my butt started hurting. I complained to my Studly Hubby who thought I was insane. It still hurt when I got up off the couch so as I walked through the apartment I clutched my behind and continued to whine. I discovered upon closer examination that it was in fact a gigantic zit that was causing the pain although I'm not sure I've ever had such an acute onset of a zit like that. Stupid butt zits! They wreak havoc on my life. It better be gone by tomorrow or my butt will seek revenge.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Our new favorite tv show

We love our Netflix. So far, I have fallen in love with six tv shows:

1. Buffy
2. Nick and Jessica's the Newlyweds
3. Dog the Bounty Hunter
4. Little Britain
5. Battlestar Galactica
6. Weeds

I'm not sure if we would have ever gotten into these shows without Netflix - my aversion to commercials and short attention span during opening credits may be the culprit. Or, maybe it's that most of them are on cable or otherwise inaccessible to us. Weeds, our most recent obsession, is a Showtime-produced "desperate housewives" knockoff with a zing that makes it even better. The mom (middle) is a pot-dealing suburban widow with two kids and many interesting connections, and her best friend (left) is the normal suburban screwed-up type that somehow never finds out about the pot but provides much entertainment.

Hooray for Netflix!!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Here comes the rain

For the first month and a half we were here, it was sunny every day and 80F, it was like living in a fantasy world where the weather is always perfect. The result: drought conditions - everything had turned brown. They tell me the seasons in Seattle are: no rain (summer) and rain (winter). In Minneapolis the seasons were: construction (summer) and snow (winter). Well, yesterday it finally rained, so I think that means winter is coming although my winter sensors are thrown off because it's not actually getting cold out, at least not as cold as in Minneapolis. In Minneapolis you'd have felt that face-chilling snap of cold by now that told you winter was coming. We did put our down comforter on the bed last night, thinking the cold must be coming, and it was a little bit colder yesterday but that may have just been because it was raining instead of sunny.

A torrent of comments on Peggy's blog in response to a post about the the Scotland rain leads me to believe there are some people out there who like the rain. I like a little rain but I'm very worried about putting up with four months of it. Thankfully we have a lot of travelling planned this winter, as well as almost monthly visitors, so it'll probably go by quickly as does everything these days.

Today: cloudy again with rain in the forecast. There's going to be some sun this weekend though so we may not be totally doomed (yet).

Thursday, September 14, 2006

How to Make New Friends

1. Invite everyone to everything, even if you just met them or haven't even met them yet. This may include your neighbors, the bus driver, or anybody who doesn't look like a serial killer.

2. Pay attention and go to all social events in your neighborhood, with the exception of AARP events (unless you're over 50) and "singles mixers"

3. Get a library card and then use your library card. Go during a time when everyone else is there, and engage everyone you meet in conversation. Check out really interesting books, like an 1850's microbiology textbook or Joe's Amazing Fart Book, and conversations will start naturally.

4. Don't waste your time on losers - that won't pan out into anything anyway. Better yet, smack them if they try to talk to you to ensure that they stay away.

5. Join a book club, church, political club, and peace rally. Try to make it to more than one meeting.

6. Drink often. This will help with all of the above.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Back to Hot Yoga

After about a six-week break that involved moving, flying to boulder, flying to NYC and starting a new job, I finally decided it was time to get back into the swing of things and find myself a hot yoga studio. Despite living most of my life without any yoga at all, being yoga-less the past six weeks has been a real test for me - it's the first time in about three years that I have gone for so long without regular yoga. So breaking my 'yoga fast' with the hardest kind of yoga I've ever done - hot yoga - maybe wasn't a great idea. But I'm not one to bail just because it doesn't sound like a great idea.

I started out wanting to vomit, almost immediately. Usually the wanting to vomit part doesn't hit until at least midway through the first pose. This time it hit about as soon as we stood up to start class.

I also ended up sitting out three poses, which is the most I've ever had to sit out (my previously worst class I only had to sit out one, usually I can make it through all of them although it may not be pretty).

So here is a summary of what I found at my new studio which is generally different from my old studio:

1. At my new studio, people were wearing normal clothes.

Yea, that's right, a guy wearing gym shorts and a t-shirt was right in front of me and I swear I even saw a woman wearing yoga pants. In my old studio it was all booty shorts and skimpy sports bras, or for the dudes speedos or giant silver underpants.

2. At my new studio, it smells nice.

This is refreshing, but didn't reduce the vomit factor at all (see first comment, above).

3. At my new studio, there is no parking.

I had to park about three blocks away, which doesn't suck when you're going to class but might as well be on the East Coast after class when you can barely walk and you can't see straight and you're not sure how you stayed alive for the past 90 minutes.

4. At my new studio, people aren't afraid to sit out an entire pose, or even the whole class.

As did the obese guy in the speedo, who at one point had a towel over his face and was rolling around moaning in pain (the teacher told him to stop, as his drama was "feeding into itself"). At my old studio, almost everyone did all the poses, and nobody dared be obese.

5. My new studio has a water filter right in the room where you do the yoga, which is convenient. They also had a clock in there, so I could time my pre-class potty break within the minute of class starting.

All in all, it was a pretty similar class with the same sufferage and the same sore muscle agony the next day that I have experienced elsewhere. I may adventure around however and check out some other studios - there are three hot yoga studios within a mile of my apt in Seattle (what does that tell you about my neighborhood?). I'm pretty spoiled here.


Thank you, my dear sweet audience, for providing me with inspiration to keep writing in this crazy blog over and over again. I have really enjoyed it and enjoyed hearing from you over the last year-and-some.

I read over some of my old posts for some Creative Inspiration - I feel like this blog thing is turning into more of a daily (or weekly) diary than the Creative Outlet it was originally intended for... but you know? My old posts were a little more creative but also maybe less focused or something - I think I might be evolving into something better here. Or maybe I can incorporate the good part of the old into the good part of the new ... or something.

My husband saw a shirt the other day that said:


I think I like it.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Some thoughts on things

I've got some random things to say:

1. Gorrilla Glue works great except for sometimes.

2. It's super fun to have a high school friend and Our Biggest Fan come visit - we are now the hosts, and we are in Seattle! We have a two-bedroom apartment you know.

3. I have posted the Pork Columbo recipe on my Recipe Blog under an alias name. Enjoy!!

4. Did you know that the headquarters building is in downtown Seattle?

4b. Did you know that the headquarters building is famously haunted?? It is apparently an old military hospital.

4c. Never do a search for "Seattle haunted amazon headquarters" and read all the stories that come up, unless you are some kind of weirdo that doesn't get freaked out by ghost stories.

4d. I get totally freaked out by ghost stories.

5. This is a way cell phones can save your career: when you use them to call your nephew-in-law when you're late for a gig and need someone to check your web site to see where it is. This use was demonstrated to us by my auntie M, who was late for a gig today in NYC. Let's all hope she made it on time...!

Friday, September 08, 2006


I've been meaning to post about blueberries for a while now. They deserve an entire post dedicated to them. Blueberries are SO AWESOME. Every summer, as soon as they come into season, my Studly Hubby and I buy as many as we can (sometimes 3-4 boxes at a time) no matter the cost. I put them on my cereal, but sometimes I eat them plain. I think they're my favorite berry, or close to it. Although, my berry loving gets a little confused sometimes. I really like strawberries too but they are much easier to get so that may make me THINK that I like blueberries better when really I don't. Although maybe I do. I think the blueberry season lasts a bit longer in Seattle and I'm pretty excited about that.

I'm still managing to score plums on my walks to and from work, however it's been made harder by some "pick fruit for the food bank" group that comes along and strips a tree of its fruit then leaves a happy little sign on the tree saying "this tree has been picked for the food bank!!" What a bummer for me!! They should leave a few pieces behind, I need fruit too. There's one tree left that hasn't been stripped for the food bank, although I think other people have been helping themselves to it also because I am starting to have to look around for the plums whereas before I could just grab a few on my way by without even slowing down.

Peggy - I'm going to get that recipe posted as soon as I get a chance.

Announcement: My former (naked) co-worker just had a baby! She and baby are fine, the dogs like the baby, and all is well on the home front (although the birth was a bit hard and she's still in recovery). Now I need to swoop down there (to Portland) and invade the quiet baby-time and try to knock everyone off-course as much as possible.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Pork Columbo

My Studly Hubby is experimenting with crockpot meals since we are now on West Coast time and getting home super late (West Coast time means: plan your whole day according to traffic, even if it means leaving work at 7 pm). Tonight we had Pork Columbo from a crockpot book we got for christmas from my Studly Sister-in-Law (The 150 Best Slow-Cooker Meals, by Judith Finlayson). It's a Caribbean recipe! It has acorn squash in it!! And it's super divine. And it made our apt smell super divine.

Seattle Weather Report

I guess some guy that everybody likes had a good blog and then the blog suddenly vanished so they are all doing odes to him through weather reports. This seems a little illogical but I like the idea of doing a weather report so even though I have no idea who this guy is nor have I ever read his blog I'm going to do a weather report too, and dedicate it to him (Milt).

So the weather in Seattle has been stunning so far. It gets warm during the day (around 80F) but at night cools off to about 60F so you can get out while it's still cool in the morning if you don't like the heat. The sun is very intense here, my husband and I both have noticed it but nobody can explain it. We have only had a few days of clouds since we got here but they say the clouds will start about mid-October and then by January you'll forget it was ever sunny. I can't feel Fall in the air at all (I'm used to feelng a little hint of it by now in the Midwest) but I may not be correctly recognizing the symptoms of Fall, being new to the area. The trees are starting to turn however, so they know what's up even if I don't.

Another Ode: to my good friend B, who just popped one out down in Portland. It was a bit early but that's good because she was starting to look like an alien harboring a high-tech weapon in her belly. Hopefully I can get a chance to go visit. Way to go B!

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Beach!!

We went to the beach Sat - Alki Beach. It's not quite the ocean beach, but it's an ocean inlet so I consider that close enough. It's a very long beach, so we parked and walked down it a ways before we got to the part where all the action was. It turns out there was some sort of spirituality festival going on Sat so we got to see some interesting things. There's no swimming at this beach though - the water is about 50F!! They say only dumb tourists ever try to get in that. We stuck our toes in but couldn't get any further.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Mt Rainier Wonderland Trail

The Studly Hubby and I decided to drive out of the city a bit today and go for a hike. We bought a hiking book on Thursday that has over 60 hikes that are within 2 hrs driving from Seattle. That was a little overwhelming, I've never been located near so many outdoor hiking opportunities (the midwest has some nice trails, don't get me wrong, but they're not quite as plethoriffic as here).

So we chose to go to Mount Rainier (a picture from the trail, top right, shows Mt Rainier in the background - we didn't actually get all that close), and take part of The Wonderland Trail (an 80+ trail that goes all the way around Mount Rainier, we just did a little stretch of it). The trail we were on had some great views and took us under trees that went right up to the Care Bears' house in the clouds (pic of me standing next to one such tree on the left - wow!). We had to go over this crazy suspension bridge (pic below) that freaked everyone out but we did good and made it across without any panic attacks or directional impairment. The trail was 7 miles, which shouldn't take four hours but somehow did - I think you go a lot slower when the trail isn't paved or flat. So four hours later we were sweaty and exhausted but totally delirious with the fun that was to be had. We then drove through the Washington countryside (weird) back to our humble home in Seattle.

While we were out we passed a lot of dirty-looking backpackers that looked like they may be doing the whole 80+ mile trail - what a trip! We were pooped after only 7 miles, imagine repeating that over and over till you had gone 80!! And sleeping on the ground in between! With no showers! I don't think I could do that. My version of "rugged" is a small cabin with a moldy shower. I don't consider myself prissy, but I suppose I am in that regard. I can't imagine something that would be so fun that it would be worth all that trouble.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Reminder: hit "refresh" on your browser

Every once in a while a blog won't reload when I go to it through a link on my blog. My blog won't even reload sometimes. Instead of the newest, most recent version of someone's blog, I get some old version of the blog and miss all the new comments and posts that might be up. This happened a few weeks ago with Mr. Mop's blog, who always posts around 5 times a day - for a few days there were NO posts and I thought he had died or something. Then one day I hit "refresh" and viola! Fifteen new posts showed up. I almost fainted from excitement. Then today, I was feeling very lonely because nobody had commented on my blog in a week or so. I hit "refresh" and about 10 comments popped up!! It was like getting a bunch of birthday cards in the mailbox. Again, I almost fainted with excitement. "Refresh" is my new best friend.